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2002 ML320 - What makes this a cool car?

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2002 ML320 - What makes this a cool car?

 
Old 05-13-2011, 03:04 AM
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2002 ML320 - What makes this a cool car?

Just got my son a 2002 ML320 ... he loves it. What makes this a cool car? if anything...?

Its got a comand screen, no nav and the nav addon is more than a whole new head unit with newer nav....

Someone said there is a subwoofer under the drivers seat? Its either blown or not on- cause I can't hear it or feel it for that matter.

Are there any user programmable options? like automatic door locks when you drive? or any other options?

It has projector headlight, but they are halogen, not xenon... is adding xenon possible? or is it better to go aftermarket HID?

Trying to make MYSELF understand what makes a ML320 a cool car --- ???
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:00 AM
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Its a Mercedes! It will go anywhere on and off road. You can add nav. Find a used nav drive and get an updated cd. I added aftermarket HID and haven't had any problems with it. As far as the subwoofer make sure its plugged in
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:20 AM
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1990 190E 2.6, ... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
You don't say where you are located. It makes a big difference on what accessories are available. You state that you have the Comand radio which means that you are not in North America.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:15 PM
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I'm in Texas

I've looked for the Nav units - they are insanely expensive IMO... +$400 it seems and I've heard conflicting reports of compatibility.

I noticed there is a third unused headlight plug be each of the headlights - would that be for xenon? the bulbs in there are halogen... can I simply add a xenon bulb and use that third plug?
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:15 AM
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1990 190E 2.6, ... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
Originally Posted by araltd View Post
I'm in Texas

I've looked for the Nav units - they are insanely expensive IMO... +$400 it seems and I've heard conflicting reports of compatibility.
If you have the MCS radio unit (not the Comand unit) that came with your 2002 ML then both the CD and DVD NAV units are compatible. The CD unit is totally obsolete and the CD's are no longer available. Go with the DVD unit. You will probably need a NAV antenna but you do not have to use the factory antenna.

Originally Posted by araltd View Post
I'm in Texas I noticed there is a third unused headlight plug be each of the headlights - would that be for xenon? the bulbs in there are halogen... can I simply add a xenon bulb and use that third plug?
Probably not. A picture of the plug you are talking about would be helpful.
If you are talking about the plug behind the left headlight fixture than that is for the fog lights.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:55 PM
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MCS ??? OKAY... I had no idea - I thought the screen was called Comand?

This is what my radio looks like -- Please note, this is NOT my car, just a quick google image search for the radio

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Old 05-14-2011, 01:57 PM
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Oh, and I guess while we're talking about it - The speaker grills say BOSE - but the radio doesn't say BOSE anywhere on it.............??????????????
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by araltd View Post
Just got my son a 2002 ML320 ... he loves it. What makes this a cool car? if anything...?
Why does it have to be a "cool" car? He should just be happy he has a car!
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:41 PM
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E 63 Renntech, E55 Renntech, SL65, SL 55 030, ML, bunch of old ones--they come, they go...
Well, frankly, ....

there's nothing cool about it. But--they are realiable (especailly the 02's up), comfortable, super safe in an accident, you can haul stuff and yes, it is a Mercedes (barely). I like trhem when they're not a lot of money and well run in--they are great as a second car or hauler.
And no, the xenon conversion is not that simple. In addition to lamps and bulbs, you will need ballast and more wiring. Expensive and complicated. The upgrades to the bulbs help...
good luck...
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:10 PM
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1988 300E, 1994 E320, 1999 ML 320, 2002 SLK 32 AMG -SOLD-, ML 350SE -REPOSSESED-
1998 Motor Trend Truck of the year. I would think that applies to W163 for all model years. Having driven the W163 and W164. They're like tanks. You can run the crap out of them as long as you keep up on your maintenance.

Motor Trend put the '98 through the truck test and it passed each of the challenges with flying colors... There was nothing it couldn't handle.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:03 AM
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I don't know about cool car but MY02+ ML's are supposed to be the more reliable ones - I disagree - that Mb made. I had a 02 like yours. They use the DVD nav and as I frecall, the system is prewired for COMAND. You have to ask your dealer to activate that option, if they still do. You'll notice that the MCS unit (that radio thing you show in the pic) has a DVD slot behind the screes (push the OPEN button). I believe it's a matter of programming your unit to go from MCS to COMAND - those here who know more about this, please chime in. I recall this was what my dealer told me when I got my 02 320.

The BOSE thing is only the speakers, that's it. I never liked the audio quality of my 320 and don't like my 500's either. Mine had the subwoffer, but that may have come with the trunk 6-CD changer option at the time. So, you may not have it.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:12 PM
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There is no dvd/cd slot behind the screen, just a cassette tape. I do have the sub under the drivers seat - which does very little (I feel). The sound is "OK" - but that's about it.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:13 PM
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Oh yeah, and what would activating COMAND do exactly? I'm still unclear about that.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by araltd View Post
There is no dvd/cd slot behind the screen, just a cassette tape. I do have the sub under the drivers seat - which does very little (I feel). The sound is "OK" - but that's about it.
In that case you only have the MCS not COMAND. COMAND is the MCS + NAV + (some other things that I don't recall). To get COMAND you'll have to ask the dealer to replace the MCS - way too expensive in my opinion. Find an after market unit that will work better.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:31 PM
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its cool to your son because its a car and its free
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:53 PM
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Lots of posts, not a lot of information
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:45 PM
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E 63 Renntech, E55 Renntech, SL65, SL 55 030, ML, bunch of old ones--they come, they go...
Uh, I think....

the answer to your question is in my post above.
Good inexpensive MPV, safe, solid, some issues. Just not cool.
And I like therm, BTW.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:47 PM
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1990 190E 2.6, ... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
Modular Control System [MCS]

MCS stands for Modular Control System and includes AM, FM & weather band radio, 6 Disc CD changer, Cassette Tape player, Satellite radio, NAV and Cellphone. There is also a single CD player (no Nav) that can be installed in the Nav space. To upgrade to NAV you do not need a new MCS. All that is needed is the DVD NAV unit that installs in the upper compartment of your existing MCS. Your MCS may or may not contain some of the features described above. The Nav units show up on FleeBay from time to time but usually are too expensive (~$1K)

The MCS units were installed in North American ML's.

The COMAND (yes it has only one M) radio is a completely different radio and is installed in European and other countries' ML's. The ML COMAND radio is not compatible with North Americal Nav discs and radio station frequencies. (Nor is the MCS compatible with the European systems)

[note: the early ML's MCS units didn't have the SAT button. I can't remember what was in that position but you may have some button other than SAT on your unit (between CD and TEL buttons) If I remember correctly the SAT radio option was added in 2004 or 2005]
Mike

The picture in post #6 above is a North American MCS unit.
The picture below is of a COMAND radio installed in a Netherlands ML.
Attached Thumbnails 2002 ML320 - What makes this a cool car?-comand.jpg  

Last edited by Mike's ML; 06-12-2011 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Added COMAND picture
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by araltd View Post
Just got my son a 2002 ML320 ... he loves it. What makes this a cool car? if anything...?

Trying to make MYSELF understand what makes a ML320 a cool car --- ???
For a teenager, I imagine it's just the fact that it's a Mercedes. And if it's been reasonably maintained, it probably still looks and rides very well. In fact, most of his friends who might be driving a 2002 Grand Am will be shocked when they learn its 9 years old and looks and rides like it's 3 years old. (also, maybe it's cool 'cause it was previewed in Jurassic Park?)

What I think is "cool" about the ML is this:

1. It's a size sleeper. It doesn't "look" that big when you see it on the road, but when you get in it, you realize how big it is and how high you're riding.
2. It's heavy, and with the standard 4Matic and ESP, it is my alltime choice for driving in bad weather--snow, ice, rain, sleet--forget about it. This thing is a mountain goat.
3. The interior is very comfortable, refined, and attractive, lots of MB touches (the floor lights are really pretty with the diffused lighting). The back seat is like a sofa, and the front is roomy and solid.
4. Has great towing power--3.5 tons, so it can be a great hauler if needed--boat, trailer, mulch, landscaping rock, whatever. It's a working Mercedes if you want it to be.
5. It's got decent acceleration for an SUV of this size, and it's only a 6 cylinder engine.
6. Gas mileage is reasonable for an SUV of this size.
7. It's reliable and tough. My 2000 now has 125K miles and I've had no major issues or surprises, and it still runs like a clock.
8. The hatchback is solidly built and there is a lot of room back there to haul smaller stuff.
9. iPod connection update is a 15 minute DIY job when the CD changer dies.

Last edited by FraKctured; 06-12-2011 at 10:34 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by FraKctured View Post
9. iPod connection update is a 15 minute DIY job when the CD changer dies.
iPod connector????????????
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by araltd View Post
iPod connector????????????
Yup, 1/8 inch jack in glove compartment that goes into the stereo head unit. You lose the CD player, but gain the iPod.

Here's the link for the adapter cable I bought, but it's discontinued (I'm sure they have other options available if you contact them):

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_023AUXI...&avf=Y&s=0&a=1

You simply take the radio out. Radio comes out easily when you insert the keys into the slots on the side. You can get they key from your dealer--mine leant me the keys for a couple of days, but I think he said they were $12 to buy. Then, unplug the CD din cable and insert the adapter. The adapter has female RCA plugs, so you also need male RCA to 1/8 inch stereo cable adapter, which I got at Radio Shack. Run the 1/8 inch cable around the back to the glove compartment (there's a lot of empty space in there, not a problem) and you've got your iPod connection. Others have mounted it in the center console on the armrest or in the ash tray, but I didn't want to do any drilling, so mine is in the glove compartment.

This works up to model year 2000, but I don't believe it will work after that since I think the CD is on the fibre optic, whereas 2000 and before is analog.

I've seen other solutions for fibre optic converters, but have no direct experience with them, so can't vouch for how well they work.

Here's one for 2003-2004 (says it doesn't work if you have the "MOST" fibre optic system):

http://www.logjamelectronics.com/soundauxmb1.html

A great site for information about MB Radios and Navigation retrofitting is Wolfgang's (used to be called Wolfgang's MB page):

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/radios.html
Attached Thumbnails 2002 ML320 - What makes this a cool car?-aux-input-converter-cable.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:15 AM
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araltd, the iPod adapter described in post #21 above will not work in your ML. I have not seen any easy way to add an iPod adapter in ML's with the Fiber optic system, which your ML has.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FraKctured View Post
Wolfgang took his 4X4 site down a few years ago and I have been using the archive site. I just noticed the /radios.html page is still up but I couldn't get to anything else.
Is there any other of Wolfgang's 4X4 site that is still accessible?
How did you find out that the /radios.html page was still up?
Thnaks,
Mike
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike's ML View Post
araltd, the iPod adapter described in post #21 above will not work in your ML. I have not seen any easy way to add an iPod adapter in ML's with the Fiber optic system, which your ML has.
Mike
So is 2000 the last year of the analog system?
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike's ML View Post
Wolfgang took his 4X4 site down a few years ago and I have been using the archive site. I just noticed the /radios.html page is still up but I couldn't get to anything else.
Is there any other of Wolfgang's 4X4 site that is still accessible?
How did you find out that the /radios.html page was still up?
Thnaks,
Mike
Hey Mike:

I had Wolfgang's site bookmarked, and noticed that it had been changed, so I bookmarked the new page right away and have had access through that link. There are so many hyperlinks on there, it's really packed, so I usually just keep hunting around and often find some of the old links from Wolfgang's site. Why did he take it down? Great resource.

Last edited by FraKctured; 06-13-2011 at 05:14 PM. Reason: typo
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